If something immediately surprises Black Adam, by Jaume Coltte Serra, is its incredible resemblance to the so-called Snyderverse. Something unexpected, if you take into account the insistence of Warner Bros to discard what was created by Zack Snyder. However, during the first sequences of the film, the similarity with the tone and rhythm that the director brought to his version of DC is remarkable. The story of Teth Adam, origin of the titular antihero, arrives in theaters on October 21 and is told from the conception of the epic.
With a more than formal attachment to the comic from which it comes, the story begins with a flashback of gloomy tones and low saturation. An obvious attempt to provide a certain notion of greatness to the narrative. Even more so, when the story begins with a look at a fictional and opulent kingdom that a group of slaves carry on their shoulders.
With surprising cruelty in detail, the camera and the script show how forced and compulsory work is a form of violence. Slowly, Black Adam discovers that she is not as harmless — not in appearance — as she could be just because she belongs to the superhero genre.
If there is something immediately surprising in Black Adam, by Jaume Coltte Serra, it is its incredible resemblance to the so-called Snyderverse. Something unexpected, if you take into account the insistence of Warner Bros to discard what was created by Zack Snyder. However, during the first sequences of the film, the similarity with the tone and rhythm that the director brought to the DC version of him is noticeable. The story of Teth Adam, origin of the titular antihero, is narrated from the conception of the epic. With a more than formal attachment to the comic from which it comes, the story begins with a flashback of gloomy tones and low saturation. An obvious attempt to provide a certain notion of the epic to the narrative. Even more so, when the story begins with a look at a fictional and opulent kingdom that a group of slaves carry on their shoulders.
Black Adam, a villain who is not so much
In fact, the tension gradually builds as the brutality on the slaves becomes more apparent. Finally, from that latent, painful and well-constructed pressure by the script, an antihero is born. Black Adamas a character, is much more a consequence of his mistakes than a celebration of his virtues.
Not just for being an antihero — something that Black Adam emphasizes recurrently — but because of its unpredictable quality. One of the highest points of the film is the exploration of a type of character that allows for experimentation in tone and form.
This child, who was about to be executed and then transformed into almost a deity, has a lot of humanity. So much so that anger is the engine of his decisions and, sometimes, of his way of advancing towards deeper layers. Black Adam He strays away from the one-dimensional villain conception as best he can, and it’s something to be thankful for.
Despite the publicity surrounding the film, which insisted that “the age of heroes is over”, the character has more empathic depth than might be assumed. So his antihero status is immediately clear. More than that, it is an essential link to understand how he behaves, once the narrative moves into the future.
The power of all the gods in Black Adam
Having established that the titular character is moved by a very understandable rage, the action moves forward millennia into the future. The movie doesn’t give clues — not too many — about what happened to Black Adam or what we can expect from him. What he does make clear is that, contrary to Superman’s virtuous kindness or Batman’s tortured conscience, the antihero of the day is an unclear mix.
Black Adam he plays on the possibility of his character being at least partially incomprehensible, which he cleverly achieves, though not every time. The script raises the idea that this is not a character that is easily deciphered. A point that allows Dwayne Johnson to have all the freedom to give the role the necessary nuances to make it believable.
But, Despite his enormous charisma, the actor does not have enough register to give three-dimensionality to his complicated Black Adam. On more than one occasion, the interpreter has real difficulties expressing more than anger, the main emotion that moves the antihero.
In this way, the film traverses uneven terrain. At times, this unsympathetic figure, moody and perpetually weighed down by restless thoughts, is closer. Other times it is just muscle at the service of a digital visual section that, once again, fails again.
A superman in the midst of worldly problems
With everything, Black Adam make good use of scarce resources. His script is fluid, fast and agile, despite the layers of sobriety that are shown in atypical situations. The plot tries to show a singular maturity and, from time to time, deviates from his character’s history with strange geopolitical reflections. But, however, it never misses a beat and Johnson brings enough vitality to it that it is entertaining most of the time.
Black Adam’s first big appearance is almost a lucky fluke and supports the idea of his godlike quality. Resurrected by chance, the character’s first major involuntary mission is to save the life of Adrianna (Sarah Shahi). Little by little, the film structures Black Adam’s relationship with the modern world through small bits of information. Amon (Bodhi Sabongui), Adrianna’s son, ends up becoming her mentor on current knowledge.
The plot imitates then, and almost involuntarily, the relationship between the very young John Connor of Edward Furlong and the terminator by Arnold Schwarzenegger. And he does so by allowing the contrast between Amon’s view of the world and the issue of violence, a hot topic for Black Adam. Little by little, this man, with the power of the gods, questions himself, grows, becomes more aware of his place and his power.
Black Adamthe superman in a new world
But, for its second installment, having lost the novelty of discovering an atypical character, the effectiveness of Black Adam It staggers. Especially when Hawkman (Aldis Hodge) and Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan) make an appearance. There is an artificial quality in the intervention of unnecessary heroes and details about the world of DC comics that do not contribute anything especially relevant to the script. Something that will be repeated over and over again. So much so that the underlining of the argument in certain topics seems gratuitous.
Even more, when Black Adam try to even explore questions of geopolitics or add an adult layer to a much simpler script. All in all, the film overcomes its worst moments and achieves an entertaining adventure. Enough, at least, to introduce this supposed villain of questionable morals, but well-founded reasons to evolve. Even to add a surprise appearance that gives the film one of its best moments.
As an open door for a new stage for DC, Black Adam does its job. A new face has arrived in today’s crowded world of superheroes. Villain? Antihero? Something in between? The film leaves the answer to the audience.